Local councils in Scotland continue to face severe challenges and hard choices in reducing expenditure on services in line with UK public spending cuts. Cuts can have short-term financial benefits but negative impacts may take longer to be revealed. This paper:
- explores how councils in Scotland can adequately consider social and community risks when making austerity cuts to services;
- identifies barriers to better risk assessment and how to overcome these;
- considers opportunities to promote impact assessment through new policies on joint working in health and social care, and community planning partnerships.